Walking Your Dog – 6 Important Steps

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Dog walking may just be one of the most common and anticipated activities owners can do with their pets. It is a great physical activity that allows both you and your dog to do together – a long relaxing walk outside the enclosed area of your own home that lets you explore the surroundings of mother nature.

There may be times when you wonder if walking your dog could really be as relaxing as what people claimed. You might have heard how tedious it could be when your dog starts pulling on the leash, and you end up being the one getting walked by your dog.

However, as much as this could be true, it should not hinder your decision to provide such an essential activity for your dog. Take in mind that walking your dog is not only a way of spending luxury time with them, but is also beneficial for their physical and mental health. 

There are ways to learn some tricks, get some tips, and with practice, you’ll come to realize that walking your dog could also be as relaxing as what people say. You could be an expert at walking your dog by understanding the core foundation of it below.

 

Why Should You Walk Your Dog?

You should walk your dog because it keeps them agile, relieves symptoms like joint pain and constipation, maintain and build muscle mass, and keep their body weight healthy. It allows them to interact with other dogs around the community, enable them to learn something new, and the opportunity to stimulate their mental activity.

Even with a mere 15 minutes, if you make sure to give your dog a walk with you regularly, you will be able to help them fulfill their weight management needs, so they can always stay in the right shape.

And as they age, the dog needs senior care and a dog walk every day helps them regulate the habit – lessening health conditions like arthritis or even if they do have arthritis, it enables and strengthens them by building and maintaining their skeletal and muscular system.

Young boy bringing his dog out for a walk

Types of Dog Walks

Potty Walks

Potty walks are a type of walk with purpose – mainly to train the pup as you bring him outdoors for potty. First, you have to keep an eye on the signs such as sniffing, whining, and licking its rear area. Next, make sure your dog doesn’t get into other dog’s messes they may have left behind.

Make sure you let these dogs take an appropriate potty break even when on a leash. Do this one by walking them carefully to where they take the potty break and give them commands such as “go potty” and let them be in a comfortable area. 

Do not rush or distract your dog by talking to them while they are at it. Please be patient and let your puppy care to be at ease for around 5 to 15 minutes. Never scold them if they are not doing it correctly – and especially, do not expect to train them if your dog is just 3 months old. Give them praise if and once they’ve successfully done it. Also be careful if your pup has spots heartworms as they make be sick when going potty.

Mental Stimulation Walks

Dogs like activities that stimulate the mind. When you bring them to a nearby park, it allows them to get used to the new environment by taking in sight and smell. Let them sniff around and explore the area. Sometimes the dog dominant breeds will try to use the bathroom to claim their territory.

You can teach your dog to practice obedience training, such as the “sit” and “stay” routines, when you bring them for mental stimulation walks. Alternatively, you may also use the time to create obstacles and reward them for successfully going through those.

3 Dogs Being Walked By Owners

Power Walks

One of the most beneficial walks for minimizing behavioral issues – power walking with your dog could be done in a weekly routine. It involves brisk walking for the entire 20 minutes – usually five times a week and ending it with a light 10 minutes stroll afterward will help with behavior solutions. 

The tip to power walks is starting strong. The moment you start slow or even allow them to sniff around first, it’s generally a lot harder for your dog to start moving fast and concentrate. If you keep such activity in your weekly routine, this exercising technique can ease dog’s anxiety, aggression, barking problems, dominance issues, and frustration.

Training Walks

Leading and keeping eye contact are two main factors contributing to training walks. It is essential to maintain a relaxed aura while you bring them outdoors for this activity. Make sure your dog is well under control when walking them to train.

Use a 6-foot long leash to keep control and practice the technique of letting loose of your leash to reward them with some treats. Keep in mind that your pup is looking at you first before you start the activity. Take it slow and easy, but consistently lead the way. 

This type of walk primarily trains your dog from pulling on the leash. Hence, do not let your dog pull when they see something interesting – instead, stop immediately (stand still) or go in the opposite direction without pulling them.

Make them understand that they could only move when you let the leash loose. Use a command such as “come with me” or “walk” when you start moving. Remember to reward them with treats when they don’t move after you let loose of the leash.

Guy getting pulled by black dog

Dog’s Behavior During Walking

As dog walkers you bring your dog outdoors, they may come across with other dog breeds. Although it can be a fun way to let them socialize with these other dogs, and build their confidence along the way, they may also exhibit the following behaviors:

Constant Pulling On The Leash

If there’s continuous pulling, please attend to this immediately as there could be repercussions on their safety. You can divert their attention by using the “follow me” game – meaning you take a few backward steps away from your dog while holding onto the leash. Such movement is likely to attract your dog’s attention and follow you.

Alternatively, you may also use a squeaky toy to attract their attention before using the “follow me” game. When they ease the pulling, make sure to reward them with a treat and praise them verbally. Frequent training and treat enhance the learning process and let your dog understand your command more.

Biting The Leash

To ease the biting frequency, start training your dog in the comfort of your own house first. Such a venue allows them to feel calm. You may start by holding the leash in front of them – boringly, and drop them immediately when they bite. Hold them gently by the collar and ease them away from it. Repeat and reward them each time they look at the leash and don’t bite. Be patient.

Refusing To Move

When your dogs like to refuse on moving, try to find out the cause of it. The reason may vary from feeling pressure of the new strap around their neck, suffering from social anxieties when they are outdoors, feeling uncomfortable with the gear they wear or battling with undiagnosed pain. 

To solve this, try to train them by letting them move around in the house first. Otherwise, you can also start the activity outdoors when there are lesser crowds. Ensure that you only use comfortable harnesses or collars, and reward them with treats when they start moving. 

Two Guys and One Dog Walking

Dog Tips On How To Walk Your Dog

1. Checking The Weather

Your pets are sensitive to the change of weather and surroundings. To ensure they feel comfortable, always keep yourself updated with the weather forecast. A temperature of 50°F and below might not be safe for them. Similarly, you must also balance and refrain, bringing them out for activities if it’s too hot outside.

2. Allocating Sufficient Time For Walks

The ideal frequency and duration of a dog walk are split into about three to four sessions with at least 15 minutes each time. But remember that this varies according to their type, age, sizes, and health conditions too. For proper evaluation of the appropriate frequency, you may check with the veterinarian.

3. Wearing Proper Identification and Using The Right Dog Leash

Getting accustomed to the leash requires time. A shorter leash is often preferred over retractable ones as they are easier to control, especially in dangerous situations. A leash with reflective features is ideal for night uses – for safety when it’s dark outside.

As long as you have proper identification for your dog safety, the type of leash you choose all draws down to what your intention is and where you are using it as they all serve a different purpose. The above leashes can be found at a local pet store.

4. Guiding Your Dog

Your presence is one of the most critical factors in creating an enjoyable walk with your dog. Aside from letting them wear proper and comfortable gear, how you portray your presence is significant. It’s important to guide your dog home. This way you can teach your dog to learn how to get back if they ever get out.

Thus, before guiding your dog get up before for a walk, ensure that you have a sufficient sleep and that you feel calm, relaxed, and confident too. You would be surprised to know that animals can sense your stress levels and how you feel.

5. Water Replenishment and Rewarding Your Dog With Treats 

Prepare their sufficient drinking water replenishment or bring a water bottle and ensure they stay hydrated at all times. To ease tensions like biting or pulling their straps, prepare the treats so you’ll be ready to give them whenever you need to. 

6. Dog Walking Etiquettes

Not all neighborhoods are intended for dog owners to walk their dogs. Always let them wear a leash and be respectful. If they poop along the way, be responsible, and pick it up with poop bags. Be aware of the basics and the way they behave and interact with other people/pets and intervene whenever it is needed.

Lady wearing black walking with her white dog on a leash

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you need to walk a dog?

Generally, you need to walk a dog for around half an hour to two hours. If the duration of it sounds too long for you, remember that you can split them up into two to three sets daily.

Which side should dog walk on?

Traditionally, a dog should walk on the left side. However, it is not compulsory to choose the left side if you feel more comfortable with the right as the only practical reason why dogs should do this is to create a habit of staying on one side – so they do not trip onto you when they run back and forth. 

Should I let my dog sniff everything on walks?

It depends. Although it is generally safe to let your dog sniff everything on walks, there are still elements that they should not get near to or sniff – this includes poisonous plants where they can accidentally ingest it. 

Also if your dog get allergies be careful with your dog allergies bites as this can irritate them during the walk. This is important to watch out for to keep good ear care, skin care , and good health care. If there is any food laying around scent trails be careful if your pup has food allergies and try to not let them near it.

How do you teach a dog to walk beside you?

You can teach a dog to walk beside you by preparing a lot of small treats. Call for your dog, maintain eye contact [1], and point the side you want him to be. Once your dog comes over to your side, reward your dog, and give verbal praise.

Repeat this and gradually stop calling your dog by just pointing to your side. If they obediently go up to you (by your side), reward them again. Repeat this and increase your pace and pattern of movement to see if he can keep up. Remember to use the same praise and reward him each time he does it correctly.

How do I teach my dog to walk without pulling?

You can teach your dog to walk without pulling the leash attached to the dog collar by stopping on the spot. Use the “follow me” game and take a few steps backward. Once they reach your side, reward them by giving treats. Alternatively, you can also reward them with toys or ball toss too.

How soon should I walk my dog after he eats?

As a dog walker you should wait for 30 minutes before you walk your dog after he eats.

Conclusion

Walks for dogs are among the most critical parts of their life that you, as a responsible dog owner, must never forget. Walking your dog is a form of workout for them that creates and provides various health benefits in terms of physical, mental, and social aspects. In reality dogs and the walking skills depends a lot on the training they receive along with the breeds. Good breeds like a labrador retriever are fast learners.

Likewise, there are guidelines that you could follow to maintain the efficiency of these workout routines. It includes the right etiquette, using the correct equipment and gear, and securing permits in your neighborhood, especially those with rules on these kinds of activities. If you need more dog tips , check out more on our website.